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Swan Old Amersham


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#1 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:01 AM

I am a bit out of touch with what is going on. Anyone know what has / is happening at The Swan in Old Amersham?

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#2 Eaton

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:21 AM

I am a bit out of touch with what is going on. Anyone know what has / is happening at The Swan in Old Amersham?

We were in Old Amersham on Saturday night visiting a couple of pubs!!!! It was still closed.
Mel and Co

#3 nicknick

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 11:29 AM

I had a card through my door last week, which annoyingly I can't find right now, inviting me along to the reopening which I think was yesterday, tonight or tomorrow... half price food I think too!

There was no name of who is the owner, whether it was still a Beefeater or another company - looked more like an independent set-up which will be a nice change.

#4 sarah

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 11:17 AM

It is opening this weekend......as a bistro restaurant. Apparently it is owned by the same people that own all bar one.

We went as part of the trial lunch last weekend, very good but not kid friendly.

#5 Carl La Fong

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:03 AM

not kid friendly.



Good. Sounds like my kind of place.
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#6 hyposmurf

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:55 AM

It is opening this weekend......as a bistro restaurant.


Will it still function as a bar as well, like it used to when it was a beefeater?

#7 Eaton

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 01:45 PM

Good. Sounds like my kind of place.

Ditto.

Whilst I have no problems with well behaved children sitting and enjoying a meal with their parents. I get really annoyed if I'm trying to enjoy a quiet meal with my husband and people are letting their 'little angels' run riot and spoiling other customers meal/night out just because they can't be bothered to discipline them and teach them some manners.

If they want to watch indulgently while their children misbehave they should take them to Wacky Warehouse or McDonald's.
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#8 Fran

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 07:53 PM

Whilst I have no problems with well behaved children sitting and enjoying a meal with their parents. I get really annoyed if I'm trying to enjoy a quiet meal with my husband and people are letting their 'little angels' run riot and spoiling other customers meal/night out just because they can't be bothered to discipline them and teach them some manners.


I quite agree. However, I also think it is important for children to learn about good food and appropriate conversation and behaviour from quite a young age, and they won't learn that in the sort of establishments that give them toys and colouring books at the table and where you can hear squeals from the adjacent ball pond and climbing nets. The key thing is that the parents should be confident their child's behaviour will match the environment and occasion, and, just as importantly, be prepared to take action if it isn't (e.g. leaving), to avoid spoiling things for other diners. That said, we only have one child, which perhaps made it easier (and cheaper) than trying to supervise two or three.

#9 Eaton

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:28 PM

I quite agree. However, I also think it is important for children to learn about good food and appropriate conversation and behaviour from quite a young age, and they won't learn that in the sort of establishments that give them toys and colouring books at the table and where you can hear squeals from the adjacent ball pond and climbing nets. The key thing is that the parents should be confident thier child's behaviour will match the environment and occasion, and, just as importantly, be prepared to take action if it isn't (e.g. leaving), to avoid spoiling things for other diners. That said, we only have one child, which perhaps made it easier (and cheaper) than trying to supervise two or three.

I don't think it makes any difference how many children you have as to whether or not they behave. My neighbours have 3 children and they are a delight. Children are like many things in life - you get back what you put in. If you teach them how to behave then apart from the very odd paddy fit they can be trusted.

Unfortunately a lot of children don't appear to have been raised with any boundaries and their parents just want a quiet life ie. go away and make a noise and annoy other people, we want to enjoy our meal in peace.

BTW, whilst I don't have any children when I got my dog I didn't know that I couldn't have them and I decided that I wanted my dog to behave as I would expect my children to. So I taught him good manners and I know that I can trust him in any and every environment. In fact when we are away or out for the day I have people queuing to look after him.

I can also trust him 100% to eat anything he can find when off the lead and more than 50 feet from me, except for bones which he brings to me and we swap them for a biscuit. So even my dog isn't perfect. :( :lol:
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#10 sarah

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:51 PM

Yes, the bar is still open to everyone, downstairs is bar and bar food, upstairs waitress service restaurant.

Remember we were all kids once........

#11 Eaton

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:48 AM

Remember we were all kids once........


That's true, but it's a bit like saying that we shouldn't eat eggs as we were all eggs once! :o

I don't go out for an evening meal to babysit other peoples children. If I wanted to do that I'd advertise as a babysitter.
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#12 mvjt

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 07:12 PM

I don't go out for an evening meal to babysit other peoples children. If I wanted to do that I'd advertise as a babysitter.


Maybe we go out to the wrong places but we regularly take our (currently 4 year old) son out to restaurants/"food pubs" for lunch and I can't remember the last time I saw children running amok and disturbing others.

#13 Fran

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 07:57 PM

Maybe we go out to the wrong places but we regularly take our (currently 4 year old) son out to restaurants/"food pubs" for lunch and I can't remember the last time I saw children running amok and disturbing others.

Sounds as if you go to the right places. ;)

#14 mvjt

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:36 PM

Sounds as if you go to the right places. ;)


Quite so! :)

But seriously, where are all these places where kids run around? Seeing kids running around is our idea of a nightmare as our lad will be watching them and saying "but they are allowed to, why can't I".

Our lad will be sitting colouring or playing with small table top toys while we are between courses or while the adults are having adult conversation as I think it is only fair that if adults have adult entertainment (adult conversation) then kids (particularly young ones) have some form of entertainment. I do not expect a 4 year old to sit and converse for the full hour plus it takes to have a meal so am happy to provide table based distractions. I object, though, to people who are happy to listen to loud adults conversing but who sit and tut at the sound of a child's voice (normal audio level, that is) when said child is sitting nicely and behaving - it's almost as though they have seen a child and expect misbehaviour so will pick on anything.

Back to the Swan, though - we walked past it yesterday and there appears to be only one vegetarian meal on the menu so I definitely won't be frequenting it a lot (and, no, I'm not vegetarian by choice; yes, I would eat meat if I could and no I don't eat fish).

Reading back it appears that we're some people's worst nightmare - a veggie with child!!! :D

#15 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 08:06 PM

Have recently read that the Swan is aiming at the well dressed over 21 with no children. Traditional English cooking, restaurant upstairs, bar downstairs. Restaurant to be extended and outdoor patio added.

The feeling is Amersham is going up market with its eating places.

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#16 Carl La Fong

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:02 PM

Have recently read that the Swan is aiming at the well dressed over 21 with no children. Traditional English cooking, restaurant upstairs, bar downstairs. Restaurant to be extended and outdoor patio added.

The feeling is Amersham is going up market with its eating places.


Went for a bite and a pint on Saturday. Not sure what the definition of "well dressed" is, but they had no objection to serving someone (i.e. me) with clean but scruffy jeans. Large range of draught beers, if you like lager - about 7 of them on offer, and not common or garden ones too. Real ale lovers will have to put up with Taylor's Landlord in not what I'd call A1 condition (but to be fair it never tastes the same outside Yorkshire), and London Pride, which I didn't try. Fairly relaxing choice of background music; trouble was, it tended to be more foreground than background.

Generally nice ambience and a nice airy feel by given by the decor, which was in several shades of beige (it must be fashionable again). Comfy chairs and sofas, pleasant and helpful staff, no little angels running riot. I had an open sandwich (by the way, all the sandwiches are the open variety) - chicken, stuffing and some big green leaves (dock?) all on some nice wholemeal bread. Fiver all in. Could have done with a bit more chicken but it filled me up OK.

Not a bad place at all, and we'll be going back for a proper meal at some point.
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#17 jarrod

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 11:30 PM

Had a meal in the Swan tonight. The food was very good and fairly reasonably priced compared to some other restaurants in the area.
We ate in the upstairs restaurant. As we arrived at 7:00p.m. there were still a few tables in the downstairs bar area unnoccupied as it was fairly quiet. The restaurant started to fill up around 8:30 and as we left around 9:00p.m. the bar was pretty busy.

The food is fairly traditional, things such as Liver & Bacon, Sausage & (Colcannon) mash, Pie of the day, 3 or 4 fish dishes (Monk fish was "fish of the day" + Crab "fishcakes"), Scallops, Prawn & spicy crab cocktail to name but a few. As mvj posted earlier, there aren't many veggie options on the menu.

We had Grilled Coats Cheese with caramelised onions (x2), Fillet steak (asked for it rare and that's how I got it, which is not always the case in this country!), sausage & mash and a treacle tart with clotted cream. It was all very good and the portions are quite big too.

Total price for 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 desert, a bottle of wine and 2 Irish coffees was 59 (excl. service).

They serve food all day at weekends (not sure about midweek) which is good to know as I always find the 2:00-2:30p.m. lunchtime "cut off" that most places stop serving a bit too early. They also do a Sunday Roast, apparently beef is always on the menu + 1 other meat.

I didn't think too much of the decor in the bar area and probably wouldn't go there for a drink (I'd stick to Elephant & Castle or Saracens Head for that), but will definitely go back to eat.

#18 Eaton

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:27 PM

My husband and I popped in there Sunday week for a quick bite at lunch time.

As Jarrod says it's quite white and aseptic looking, apart from the chairs in the bar area which are a very unusual (but comfortable) style. The armchair style chairs were so low and the tables so high that I felt like a child sitting at an adults table. We did notice that there were other table and chair combinations where the people were sitting with a coffee style table and I think that would be worse to try to eat from.

It's bright and airy, although probably because of the flooring we found it very noisy and it was much easier to hear what the elderly couple of women sitting at the next table to us were saying (not shouting) than to hear each other. Although after 14 years of marriage, that can sometimes be a blessing. B)

We could see an alcove area in the restaurant that would benefit from more lighting as it was very dark , with no natural lighting and there was just 1 spotlight on each table.

All in all a pleasant lunchtime meal and we will return for lunch.
Mel and Co

#19 Fran

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 03:36 PM

It's bright and airy, although probably because of the flooring we found it very noisy and it was much easier to hear what the elderly couple of women sitting at the next table to us were saying (not shouting) than to hear each other. Although after 14 years of marriage, that can sometimes be a blessing. B)

We could see an alcove area in the restaurant that would benefit from more lighting as it was very dark

After 14 years of marriage (or 20, in our case), maybe the dimly lit alcove could be a blessing too! :lol:

#20 Eaton

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 04:33 PM

After 14 years of marriage (or 20, in our case), maybe the dimly lit alcove could be a blessing too! :lol:

That's cruel. ;)
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#21 Fran

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 04:58 PM

That's cruel. ;)

Perhaps - but to whom?

#22 Eaton

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 06:55 PM

Perhaps - but to whom?

I've met your husband and I don't think that he needs to be sat in a dimly lit alcove, unless you had other things on your mind. :blink:

Similarly I don't think that he's got anything to complain about. :lol:
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#23 Ian

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:18 PM

My wife and I ate at the Swan last night and were slightly disappointed.

Baked Camembert to share to start was pleasant enough
Wife's sirloin was ordered medium rare and arrived well done
My lamb shoulder was fine
Veg were very over done.

#24 hyposmurf

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:59 PM

Visited the bar at the Swan last night for the first time and was impressed.The decor and seating is by far a great improvement.They have a better selection of drinks on offer than your regular bar and the staff were friendly and polite.As for the Eagle and elephant and castle,they seem to be everything the swan isnt.Dirty,smelly and falling apart.The costs of drinks in the Eagle were also quite high considering what dirty hole it is.I used to regularily visit both pubs when I was younger, but appears that both pubs are stil poorly maintained.Hand driers not working,no hot water,seats almost falling apart,lights not working,paintwork thats in a poor state,smell of stale beer etc.There are plenty of pubs around like this in Chesham too, I'd just like to see more of them like the Swan if they want to charge the prices they do.2.50 for a small bottle of mineral water and almost 3 for a small bottle of beer in the Eagle,right rip off.

#25 gazza13

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 01:17 PM

As for the Eagle and elephant and castle,they seem to be everything the swan isnt.Dirty,smelly and falling apart.The costs of drinks in the Eagle were also quite high considering what dirty hole it is.I used to regularily visit both pubs when I was younger, but appears that both pubs are stil poorly maintained.Hand driers not working,no hot water,seats almost falling apart,lights not working,paintwork thats in a poor state,smell of stale beer etc.There are plenty of pubs around like this in Chesham too, I'd just like to see more of them like the Swan if they want to charge the prices they do.2.50 for a small bottle of mineral water and almost 3 for a small bottle of beer in the Eagle,right rip off.


I totally agree with you. I'm all for pubs having character, but they still need to be decorated and clean. We stopped going into the Eagle and the Elephant some time ago. Tend to use the Little Missenden Pubs now for a drink, particularly The Crown. you would think the land lords would make some effort, there is plenty of competition about.

#26 Ado

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 06:42 PM

Very nice place. Very impressed. We went with a large group and the service and food was excellent. My only minor gripe was that the red wine was served at about 1 degree C!

Will definately be going back. I might bring the kids there for lunch (avoiding the grumpy old gits in the dim alcove!!)

#27 Kawasaki

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 03:05 PM

The one pub in Amersham that has retained its character without sacrificing cleanliness or good service is The Saracen's Head in Whielden Street. It serves good food yet still has the ambience of a pub, with a mixture of age-groups, well-kept beer, and no piped music. I may of course be biased, for my great-grandmother was a 15 year old serving wench here in 1851! (Source:1851 census).

As for The Swan, it lost its character decades ago when it was taken over by Beefeater Restaurants. In the days of mine host Bertie Tooth, back in the 1950s and 60s, it had a pleasant lounge and a public bar with a bar-billiards table.

#28 struthie

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 10:37 PM

I hope its ok as we're going there for our works christmas do!

#29 Eaton

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 04:54 PM

As for the Eagle and elephant and castle,they seem to be everything the swan isnt.Dirty,smelly and falling apart.The costs of drinks in the Eagle were also quite high considering what dirty hole it is.I used to regularily visit both pubs when I was younger, but appears that both pubs are stil poorly maintained.Hand driers not working,no hot water,seats almost falling apart,lights not working,paintwork thats in a poor state,smell of stale beer etc.There are plenty of pubs around like this in Chesham too, I'd just like to see more of them like the Swan if they want to charge the prices they do.2.50 for a small bottle of mineral water and almost 3 for a small bottle of beer in the Eagle,right rip off.

I have to say that I've only ever been in the Eagle once at night and then it was one of the few dry warm evenings we had this summer and I thought it was fine, although I had already had a few drinks by the time I got there. ;) It is a very small, old and dark pub and sometimes that can give the impression of a lack of hygiene. I've often had lunch in there and enjoyed it and I've never noticed that it's been dirty, if I had I wouldn't have eaten in there.

What do you think Struthie - is the food any good?

Getting back to the Swan I did really enjoy their fish fingers, much more so than their burger but of course that's personal taste.
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#30 Fran

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:30 PM

Getting back to the Swan I did really enjoy their fish fingers, much more so than their burger but of course that's personal taste.

Getting away from the Swan (fleetingly), there's a pub in Aylesbury that does a fish finger, cheese and bacon sandwich. Sounded bizarre and horrid to me, but perhaps you'd like it? :o (I presume someone does, or they wouldn't print it on the menu.)